Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
The Dodgers Steal the Headlines
2005-12-19 03:57
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Nomar Garciaparra to L.A., apparently. I don't have good feelings about this. If Nomar goes to a team like Cleveland and gets hurt or is no good, then, well, that's a "small market team taking a chance." With the Dodgers, Garciaparra has the chance to be part of a disturbing injury perfecta with the likes of Drew, Gagne, Penny, and Perez. No one really noticed or cared when Juan Gonzalez ended up contributing nothing for the Indians last year, yet somehow people seriously suggested that an injury to the profoundly ineffective Jose Valentin is what started the Dodgers on their death spiral in 2005. I guess what I'm driving at is that if the general character of your team is young, healthy, and vigorous, you're more likely to weather these sorts of things. Mixing Nomar with the bone china-armed Cubs pitching staff was a recipe for disaster. With Drew, Nomar, and a 38-year-old Jeff Kent, the Dodgers could become the first team ever to lose their three, four, and five hitters for the season on back-to-back-to-back check swings.

Unrelated addendum: In response to Take Two Interactive buying the exclusive rights to make major league baseball-licensed videogames (itself a response to Electronic Arts' snagging of the NFL rights), EA is developing a college baseball title. That's kind of a cool idea. I end up buying at least two XBox baseball games every year because there's always one that's fun multiplayer and one that has a rigorous franchise mode, but never one with both. At the right price, I would buy a college baseball game. This could end up, quite unintentionally, being a huge boon for the NCAA. I've become a huge international soccer fan due mostly to my enthusiasm for EA's FIFA and Konami's Winning Eleven.

2005-12-19 11:20:06
1.   slackfarmer
Ned's certainly spending a lot of money on "upgrades", but that discussion is best left for DT.

Of interest here is Choi. Apparently Ned doesn't have a place for him any longer. Too bad O'Dowd can't move Helton and his huge contract, then pick up Choi on the cheap. I would love to see Choi smack them out at Coors, and with the money saved O'Dowd might be able to afford to fill out the roster.

2005-12-19 11:48:08
2.   Mark T.R. Donohue
On the subject of Helton: He's not going anywhere. His contract is absurd and lengthy and he plays the easiest-to-fill position on the diamond. Were Colorado to trade him, they'd have to pay somewhere between half and three-quarters of what's owed him, and I doubt very highly that there's any combination of non-pitchers who would make the Rockies better for that price than Helton does himself. Yes, he's overpaid. But he's also a Hall of Famer, and those can be nice to have. The less-discussed aspect of the Helton deal is that he can opt out after 2007, turning his back on about $70 million for a chance to catch on with a contender somewhere. I imagine he'll take the money.

As much as I liked the stories of his haunting Korean karaoke bars while with the Cubs, I've never understood the high regard many statheads hold Hee Seop Choi in. He strikes out way too much for Coors. The Rockies have a guy in Ryan Shealy who's basically Choi only righthanded (they're both 6'5", 240, and Shealy is 25 to Choi's 26) and a better hitter for average. The comparison indicates what was basically the problem with the Helton deal in the first place -- you should never really have to go out of your way to find an acceptable first baseman. But, what's done is done, and the Rockies should be more concerned with getting rid of Jason Jennings' salary than chasing pipe dreams regarding Buff David Herman.

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